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eBay messages

Quinton McCombs
asked this on October 02, 2010 19:38

Is anyone using Zendesk to handle messages from eBay customers?  If so, could you share your experience?

 

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Thomas McConnell
Zendesk

Hey I had a customer ask this question earlier and I see there is no response from the previous post in 2010. Can anyone assist on this or direct me as to whether or not there are ebay and/or Amazon use cases??

March 21, 2012 17:24
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Quinton McCombs
Project C Beta Testers

I have been using ZenDesk with eBay and Amazon.   Both marketplaces generate anonymous email addresses for both parties.  This tends to cause problems if you are not running an email only help desk.  If the customer clicks on the link to view their tickets, they try to log in using their email address.  This doesn't work because the account is under the anonymous email address that they can not see. 

eBay has a few additional problems...

Unlike Amazon, the anonymous email address expires after some period of time (from the initial message).  This is a somewhat annoying problem because Bay will start rejecting the messages.  Once this starts to happen, you just have to reply to the customer's email directly and then copy that into the ticket to keep it up to date.

eBay will reset the subject near every time so that each reply from a customer generates a new ticket.  Very rarely, a customer will reply to a message and it will actually update the existing ticket.  I have never figured out how this was happening although I think those customers are actually adding the ticket number to the subject.  

eBay also requires that certain parts of the original message be included in the reply.  This is a reference code (buried in the template text of the message) that eBay uses to tie replies back to the original message.  If that code is not in the reply, eBay will just reject your message.  Each time you get a message from eBay, the reference code is different.  If you allow two of those reference codes to make it into the ticket as public comments, eBay will reject your messages.  I have to remove all of the eBay message except for the few lines that were actually written by the customer each time I merge into the original ticket.  I also uncheck the checkboxes during the merge that will update the customer.  This generally increases the chances of getting a message rejected.  When this happens around the same time that I actually update the original ticket with a public comment, there is no way to determine which of the two emails got rejected by eBay.

If you setup your help desk to send an automatic response when a new ticket is created via email, the automatic response will get rejected by eBay about 10% of the time.  It most frequently occurs with eBay.ca customers.  I have never been able to determine the cause.

March 21, 2012 20:48
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Thomas McConnell
Zendesk

 

Quinton- Thank you so much for this response, and I appreciate all the information you have shared. Have you had a better experience on the Amazon side, or do you find both use cases to be very similar?

March 22, 2012 08:47
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Quinton McCombs
Project C Beta Testers
Check Answer

There are very few technical difficulties using Zendesk with Amazon.  It basically works as if customers were emailing your help desk directly with a few minor differences.  

With Amazon, the only problem is that the email address for the customer is an anonymous address.  While this is confusing for some customers who try to create an account to view the tickets online, it has not presented much of a problem.  I created a welcome message for new customers that explains why this happens and that their tickets can be transferred to another account using their real email address upon request.

All of the other problems with rejected messages and broken hyperlinks for attachments that affect eBay customers to not apply for Amazon customers.  Amazon does not alter the subject on replies so responses from customers via email for a ticket result in an update to the original ticket. 

Amazon also have a return process that nearly all customers will use by default.  When the return is requested, it generates an email which Zendesk converts into a ticket.  Although Amazon's intent was for returns to be managed on their site, my company does not do this.  We handle everything with Zendesk (no other integration besides email).  Although all of these return requests on Amazon stay in an open and unresolved state forever, neither Amazon nor the customer seem to care.  Amazon has always been good about allowing everything to be handled by email so this is unlikely to change.

If the customer files an A-Z claim (like eBay's buyer protection case), it still generates an email which Zendesk turns into a ticket.  However, you can't just update the ticket in this case.  For claims, you actually need to use Amazon's web interface to update the case.  My company's process is to merge the new ticket into the existing ticket for the issue (if there is one) and add any updated regarding the claim as private comments.  However, as long as customers get timely service, claims are very rare.  My company has a claim rate of under 0.1%.

One thing that I forgot to mention about eBay is that you can only send messages from one address.  For this reason, you must enable pass through email addresses in Zendesk so that the 'from' address will match the original 'to' address.  I have everything set up to use sales@mycompany.com.  Email forwarding rules forward the customer initiated messages to Zendesk.

Amazon will also reject messages if they are not sent from one of your registered addresses.  However, Amazon lets you create a list of registered addresses.  This is another contributing factor to easy of use with Amazon.

To summarize:

ZenDesk / Amazon: Very smooth

ZenDesk / eBay: Constant pain

March 22, 2012 09:35
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Quinton McCombs
Project C Beta Testers

I am happy to answer any other questions about using Zendesk with Amazon and eBay.  I would also appreciate any information that other might have on how to make eBay less painful.

March 22, 2012 09:37
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Thomas McConnell
Zendesk

This has been very helpful. Thanks Quinton!

March 22, 2012 09:45
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Karl

Hi

 

if i answer questions in zendesk frem ebay, ebay does not show the question answered

eBay are introducing a rule that if you answer a question within a time frame , it will not allow the customer to give low comunication dsr

this will be affected if ebay does nor update the questions answered tab if answered outside ebay

 

is this correct ?

April 19, 2012 02:45
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Quinton McCombs
Project C Beta Testers
Check Answer

eBay only requires that you reply to the customer's message within the correct time frame.  You do not have to actually answer the question on eBay's site.  This will allow you to answer questions by just updating the ticket in Zendesk.

However, there is a catch...  As I previously described, eBay does not integrate well with Zendesk.  Most of the time, a new ticket will be created when a customer replies to a ticket update instead of updating the existing ticket.  You will be doing a lot of merging!  I have seen a near 100% rejection rate on the message to the customer telling them that the ticket was closed and merged into another ticket.  If the message is rejected, you have not replied to the message even if you sent the reply in response to the original message.

Some eBay customers are also bad about just sending new messages every time.  eBay will expect you to reply to each one of these messages....

I have Zendesk setup to send an automatic response when a new ticket is created by email.  Occasionally some of these get rejected (no idea why because I can't see the actual message that was sent from Zendesk).  For the ones that don't get rejected, eBay will think that you have responded within 5 minutes!  I have a fairly low rejection rate on the auto response.  If you find that your rejection rate is too high, I would recommend an auto response generated with a server based rule in your email system (gmail works nicely for this).

Technically, eBay wants you to actually respond to the customer.  However, they can not look at every message to determine if you really answered the question or not.  Amazon is also starting to make response time a metric by which sellers are measured.  The auto response is a nice solution to both.  

 

April 19, 2012 09:27
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Quinton McCombs
Project C Beta Testers
April 19, 2012 10:05
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Marc Day

Quinton, could you explain how you set up eBay to forward messages to zendesk please? It doesn't seem to direct any messages to my email inbox for me to forward to zendesk. Any help would be most appreciated.

April 23, 2012 13:17
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Quinton McCombs
Project C Beta Testers
Check Answer

On eBay, you can set the email address where messages from other members will be sent.  For my company, this is a gmail (actually google apps) address.  Getting the emails from gmail to Zendesk is explained in the knowledge base article below.

https://support.zendesk.com/entries/20518663-forwarding-email-from-other-email-providers

April 23, 2012 16:20
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Admin

I'm using it but had problems with working out email addresses, finally worked out that it is the notification email address that is used to send to the ebay customer

April 24, 2012 09:44
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David Gitman
ndap

Has anyone gotten around a new ticket being created everytime a customer replies to an Ebay message?

October 25, 2012 07:35
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

I don't know of any new developments in this area, but maybe somebody else has additional input. 

October 25, 2012 09:17
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Quinton McCombs
Project C Beta Testers

From what I have seen, the replies from eBay customers almost always have the original subject with a 'Re:' stuck in front of it.  Since the ticket number is not part of the subject, ZenDesk can't match it to an existing ticket.  To make matters even worse, any auto reply you might have setup will also fail in the case.  This is because the incoming email messages does have eBay's message id in it but it is part of the original message so it does not get imported into the new ticket.  This creates another new ticket five minutes after the new ticket with the reply stating that the message could not be delivered.  If an agent has already replied to the update, it can be difficult to determine if it was the auto reply or the agent's update that got rejected.

In a few rare cases, I have seen the modified subject which includes the ticket number used on the reply.  When this happens, everything works as expected.  It seems that the customers that reply using their email client use the updated subject.  For customers that like to read and respond to messages on eBay's site (which seems to be in the 95% range for my customers), eBay always uses the original subject.

October 25, 2012 09:27
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Bob Pishue
golfdiscount

Quinton - First off, thanks for creating this thread. It has been a big help and has gotten my company talking.

I have a question about Amazon and Zendesk. Amazon pretty much requires that messages be responded to within 24 hours of receiving it. To me, this means that one would have to log into Amazon to reply to the message.

From what I gather about your solution, you are answering any questions *outside* of the Amazon messaging system. Does this not have an adverse effect to your rating?

At the very least, I could see that ticket creation would at least allow you to track your response time by not responding within Zendesk, but manually closing the ticket whenever you are done responding to that customer in Amazon.

I would like to take it a step further but would like to pick your brain about the relationship of the internal Amazon messaging and Zendesk to avoid adverse ratings/scoring.

 

Thanks,

 


Bob

December 06, 2012 14:57
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Quinton McCombs
Project C Beta Testers

Amazon doesn't really care if you respond through Amazon's web UI or through email.  The reply to address on the email messages is a generated email address that routes the response through Amazon's messaging system.  I have actually never responded to a customer through Amazon's web interface (even before my company implemented ZenDesk).  

With the use of an auto reply on ticket creation & ticket updates, you can get a perfect score for response time according to Amazon's system.  I added the auto reply when tickets were updated by the end user via email for Amazon customers a while back because Amazon requires that you respond to every message.  I found this very annoying because sometimes a customer might send several messages before you can respond to the first one.  There was also the issue of having to staff my help desk on the weekends just to make Amazon happy which I was not willing to do...

December 06, 2012 15:15
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Bob Pishue
golfdiscount

Thank you so much for your reply Quinton.

You are absolutely correct! From what I have heard from our Amazon Dept, apparently back in the day you had to respond through Amazon internally. This appears not to be the case anymore, and it looks like running Zendesk to handle customer support for our Amazon store would be a good solution.


Thank you!

 

December 06, 2012 16:03
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Thanks for staying active here, Quinton! 

December 09, 2012 06:26
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Louise Brain

Hi guys.

I was just about to invest in Zendesk which I just assumed would offer eBay / Amazon message integration. Thankfully I decided to double check before I did.

I am baffled that there are so few comments on this question. With over 3 million eBay / Amazon seller in the world - there must be more of a demand for integration than this? 

Quinton McCombs, I appreciate the information that you are sharing. However, it sounds as though you are still having difficulty with the work arounds for eBay and Amazon. How are you getting on now? Are you still having the same problems or have you come up with any foolproof solutions?

January 31, 2013 03:31
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Admin

We use it and it doesn't miss much, only occasionally on Amazon - return requests sometimes ends up in the spam folder but you'll see these soon enough as i'm sure you're login in to your account most days.  Everything else is answered automatically so you should always have zero awaiting reply when you log in.  integration is straight forward.  You need to have both ebay and amazon accept both incoming and outgoing email used by zendeck.  We've been using it a year or so with no problem.  You may need to turn off one of the auto replies as amazon sends you a copy of your message.  From memory, we blocked the auto reply from amazon as spam.

January 31, 2013 06:33
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Quinton McCombs
Project C Beta Testers

My experience is just the same as before.  I have no problem with anything getting flagged as spam since the rules we setup in GMail prevent this from happening.  Amazon integration is a breeze.  eBay integration is a problem for customers who insist on using eBay's web interface to reply to messages (which sadly is most of them).

January 31, 2013 07:12
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Dean
savethemoment

I realise it has been a while since the last comment but this thread seems to contain the most appropriate information for those of us using Zendesk with eBay messages.  I have Zendesk working with eBay with a certain extent but its certainly not perfect as documented here by others.

I have switched off the trigger that sends an acknowledgement when a new message is received.  In fact I have switched off all triggers except for the one that sends the replies when a comment is added to a ticket.  What I am finding is that on some occasions when a customer replies it adds their reply to an existing ticket  whereas other times it creates a new ticket.  I haven't gone down the route of merging the tickets as at least all the tickets for a particular customer are filed together under their user in Zendesk so its easy to check history that way if required.

The most annoying aspect is all the extra standard text that ebay adds to the messages.  If there was a way to strip this out prior to it being added to the ticket it would be a huge improvement.  I am aware of the 'redaction' function being worked on as we speak which would at least be something.  However being able to strip certain blocks of standard text from an email before it is added to a ticket would be the ideal solution.

It would be interesting to hear of any other solutions anyone has come across more recently.

 

September 23, 2013 08:35
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Soarabh Gupta
techtorium47

This really is a great thread from Amazon/Ebay perspective. I have a relatively deeper issue: I am a seller operating more than 1 Amazon accounts and trying to use Zendesk Enterprise version. My issue is about Amazon figuring out that both these accounts belong to me. Any suggestions?

December 04, 2013 23:18